Product ontology

This ontology will help to describe the different objects our standards will use later on.

History and references

This specification has been built since March 2017, through iterations between field interviews and modelling. We have been supported in that work by an ontologist, Bernard Chabot.

Here is a simplified representation of the product ontology:

Click here to access a zoomable version of the document.

The question of products identification is treated in the technical standard and won’t be discussed here. Published on LOV

Product Type

Product have a main product type. That's the simplest way to qualify product. Product Type have to be valuated by Taxonomy.


We chose to characterise products through various orthogonal facets that enable precise understanding, rich research and comparisons. This will be really useful for several use cases. They will enable platforms to order products received from automated data exchange in their own appropriate taxonomy. Also, actors will be able to make searches in a pull of products from various platforms using various custom taxonomies.

Behind each of these facets, we need taxonomies, or it can be a free field but then it’s hard to make searches!


Some classes of business ontology have unit predicate. Units have to be valuated by Taxonomy.


Platform have to provide valuated Taxonomy for Product Type, Unit and Facets.

DFC are trying to reuse existing taxonomy for each concept. Despite this goal, we use DFC taxonomies in the prototype until international repositories have been found.

If Product Types, Units or Facets are not provided by Platform, user could fill it in prototype and send it to platform to update it. User could also change value provided and update platform.

Taxonomy will help to identify the products and the facets chosen to do so.

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